Celebrate ‘Giving Tuesday’ with gifts of time, talent and treasure

So far this week, we have had the opportunity to give thanks for all we have, shop in stores – both large and small – for the latest bargains and, in case we missed those, we could have spent Monday on the Internet trying to get an even bigger bargain. Today, we have another opportunity that is just as important – and I would argue a bigger deal. Today is Giving Tuesday.

It is a day when we can share with nonprofits throughout the world the gifts we have. Many will say it is the time to give a financial gift to a worthy cause. It is, and if we all dig down a bit, we could set a record for charitable giving in one day. What would it take to do this? The population of the United States is approximately 316 million people. If half of the population would give an average of $5, the total gift given to help others would amount to $790 million. If not a record, it would sure make a good headline. Consider giving a financial gift to a cause that makes a difference in your life or in the life of someone you love. Five dollars may seem a small amount, but if we all do it, we can make a big impact.

Now here is where my challenge to you tests your mettle. I ask that you also think of one talent you have that you could share and an amount of time, say five hours, in the next year. In addition to your financial gift, make a pledge to also share this talent and time to a cause you care about. Each of us has a special gift that makes us who we are. When we share it, not only does it make a difference, but it also makes us feel good. That’s the best bargain around.

Let’s go for it. I hope on Wednesday, we wake to the lead story on the news that Giving Tuesday resulted in a record number of donations of time, talent and treasure in the U.S. Now, that is a good story and a deal worth keeping.

Raejean Kanter is executive vice president of The Falk Group and recipient of the 2014 BizTimes Lifetime Achievement Award in Philanthropy.

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